ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0236.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Insect Biotechnology; molecular entomology; pest management; Sterile Insect Technique; sperm storage; transgenesis; Tribolium castaneum
Online: 16 September 2022 (03:02:52 CEST)
Sperm marking represents a valuable monitoring tool for genetic pest control strategies such as the Sterile Insect Technique, but also provides a key tool for reproductive biology studies. Sperm-marked lines can be generated by introducing transgenes that mediate the expression of fluorescent proteins during spermatogenesis. Homozygous lines established by transgenesis approaches are going through a genetic bottleneck that can lead to reduced fitness. Transgenic SIT approaches have mostly focused on Dipteran and Lepidopteran pests so far. With this study, we provide sperm-marked lines for the Coleopteran pest model organism, the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, based on the β2-tubulin promoter/enhancer driving red (DsRed) or green (EGFP) fluorescence. The obtained lines are reasonably competitive and were thus used for studies on reproductive biology confriming the phenomenon of ‘last male sperm precedence’ and that the spermathecae are deployed for long term sperm storage enabling the use of sperm from first matings even after secondary matings for a long period of time. The homozygosity and competiveness of the lines will enable future studies to analyze the controlled process of sperm movement into the long time storage organ as part of a post-mating cryptic female choice mechanism of this extremely promiscuous species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0482.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Fall army worm; insect biology; life table; nutritional indices; host suitability
Online: 28 March 2023 (10:11:21 CEST)
Spodoptera frugiperda is a new invasive and highly polyphagous pest that attacks corn in Indonesia. The availability of abundant plant species allows pests to switch to other host plants to maintain their population. This research aims to examine the development, reproduction, nutritional indices, and life table of S. frugiperda in several plant species. The plants tested were corn, rice, broccoli, oil palm, and baby corn as controls. Ten individual insects were used and repeated five times for each plant species. The test results show that different types of plant feed affect the development time, imago life span, fecundity, and fertility of S. frugiperda. The types of plant feed, that were baby corn fruit and broccoli had higher net reproduction value (R0), intrinsic growth rate (r), gross reproduction rate (GRR), shorter mean generation period (T), and population doubling time (DT) than in corn and rice leaves. On oil palm leaf feed no population parameters can be determined because no larvae developed into adults and had the lowest nutritional indices parameters, so that could not be exploited as a host plant. Also, the nutritional indices of several feed plant species tested provided information that broccoli could be a suitable host when there was no corn in the field.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0254.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Insect pest control; Insect Resistance Management; Crop protection
Online: 18 October 2022 (07:27:52 CEST)
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a spore-forming bacterium that produces insecticidal proteins and other virulence factors and is considered one of the most successful bioinsecticides available to control pests in agriculture. Bt strains have been reported as endophyte or rhizospheric bacteria, but little is known about the implications of this property of Bt in crop protection. Here, we review if Bt can establish as an endophyte/rhizobacterium and evaluate if Bt as an endophyte/rhizobacterium can simultaneously act against different phytopathogens (fungi, bacteria, insects and viruses) plus promote plant growth. The implications of the proposed review will broaden our understanding of Bt as a versatile entomopathogen by exhibiting differential behavior depending on context.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0079.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: insect; RNAi; non-RNAi; defense systems; antiviral; insect pest control; bee health
Online: 12 March 2018 (05:18:25 CET)
RNAi is considered a major antiviral defense mechanism in insects but its relative importance compared to other antiviral pathways has not been evaluated comprehensively. Here, it is attempted to give an overview of the antiviral defense mechanisms in Drosophila that involve both RNAi and non-RNAi to acquire a sense of their relative importance. While RNAi is considered important in most viral infections, many other pathways can exist that confer antiviral resistance. It is noted that very few direct recognition mechanisms of virus infections have been identified in Drosophila and that the activation of immune pathways may be accomplished indirectly through cell damage incurred by viral replication. In several cases, protection against viral infection can be obtained in RNAi mutants by non-RNAi mechanisms, confirming the variability of the RNAi defense mechanism according to the type of infection and the physiological status of the host. This analysis invites to investigate more systematically the relative contribution of RNAi in the antiviral response and more specifically to ask whether RNAi efficiency is affected when other defense mechanisms predominate. While Drosophila can function as a useful model, this issue may be more critical for economically important insects that are either controlled (agricultural pests and vectors of diseases) or protected from parasite infection (beneficial insects as bees) by RNAi products.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0133.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Acacia; cultivation; diseases; insect pest
Online: 11 June 2020 (11:53:18 CEST)
Tree members of the genus Acacia have benefits that are obvious for enhancing soil fertility in farming, forestry and agroforestry in regions with nutrient-poor soils, and for restoring degraded ecosystems and lands. Nevertheless, the species of the genus Acacia have got the potential to bring about significant adverse impacts on biodiversity or ecosystem functioning when it gets invasive. The ecology of the species in nearly all areas of its created range remains poorly understood. Here we have compiled the information regarding the importance, cultivation and the production of important species of genus Acacia. We hope this information will be useful to get awareness about the crucial trees in the genus Acacia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0156.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: edge computing; e-traps; insect monitoring
Online: 8 March 2023 (10:19:45 CET)
This study describes the development of an image-based insect trap diverging from the plug-in camera insect trap paradigm. In short, a) it does not require manual annotation of images to learn how to count targeted pests and, b) it self-disposes the captured insects, and therefore is suitable for long-term deployment. The device consists of an imaging sensor integrated with Raspberry Pi microcontroller units with embedded deep learning algorithms that count agricultural pests inside a pheromone-based funnel trap. The device also receives commands from the server which configures its operation while an embedded servomotor can automatically rotate the detached bottom of the bucket to dispose of hydrated insects as they begin to pile up. Therefore, it completely overcomes a major limitation of camera-based insect traps: the inevitable overlap and occlusion caused by the decay and layering of insects during long-term operation, thus extending the autonomous operational capability. We study cases that are underrepresented in literature such as counting in situations of congestion and significant debris using crowd counting algorithms encountered in human surveillance. Finally, we perform comparative analysis of the results from different deep-learning approaches (YOLO7/8, crowd counting, deep learning regression) and we open-source the code and a large database of Lepidopteran plant pests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0443.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: plastic; mealworms; insect; bacteria; gut microbiome
Online: 23 November 2022 (09:46:44 CET)
Polyurethane (PU) is a polymer widely used by humans whose recycling is highly complex due his chemical structure, being limited to incineration or accumulation in landfills. Biodegradation by enzymes and microorganisms has been studied for decades as an effective method of biological decomposition. In this study, Tenebrio molitor larvae (T. molitor) were fed with polyurethane foams, which gut enzymes and microorganisms were capable of degrading the polymer by 35% in 17 days of treatment, producing a weight loss of 14% in the mealworm. Changes in T. molitor gut bacterial community and diversity were observed, which may be due to colonization of species associated with PU degradation. Physical and structural biodegradation in PU by T. molitor compared to virgin PU, was demonstrated by Fourier Transform InfraRed spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microphotography (SEM).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0083.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: genitalia; damage; instar; insect pest; dimorphism
Online: 3 December 2020 (11:31:35 CET)
The coffee leaf miner Leucoptera coffeella (Guérin-Mèneville & Perrottet), is a key pest in coffee producing countries. During their development, the larvae feed on the palisade parenchyma of the leaves forming mines. As a result, the photosynthetic area of the plant decreases, affecting coffee production. Despite the severity of the damage caused by coffee leaf miner (CLM), morphological aspects of the larval development and the adult genitalia remain unknown. It is important to identify more susceptible targets to an efficient and narrow control by natural or synthetic approaches, relies on determining the larval instars. Equally important is the sexing of the adult, in experiments aiming efficient ways to control CLM, as the study of pheromone-based control methods. This work presents the first morphological description of the four larval instars and the adult genitalia of L. coffeella. In each larval instar, we measured the Mean ± SD (mm) of the cephalic capsules (1st 0,14±0,03; 2nd 0,25±0,04; 3rd 0,32±0,03; 4th 0,42±0,03) and observed the following morphological details: primary setae, prolegs, crochets and ecdysial line of the cephalic capsule. In the adults, we observed the sexual structures present in both genitalia: male - bulbus ejaculatorius, valva, anellus, gnathos and aedeagus and female - ovipositor, sclerite and corpus bursae. The dissection of the adult specimens confirmed that the external morphology corresponds to the correct sex attribution in CLM adults. These results may support innovative and improved control strategies for CLM Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0375.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: electron insect traps; smart city; IoT
Online: 25 June 2018 (08:35:40 CEST)
We introduce a device for automatic detection and reporting of crawling insects in urban environments. It is a monitoring device for urban pests that complies with the context of smart homes, smart cities and is compatible with the emerging discipline of the Internet of Things (IoT). We believe it can find its place to every room of a hotel, hospital, military camp and residence. This box-shaped device attracts targeted insect pests, senses the entering insect and takes automatically a picture of the internal space of the box. The picture is communicated through the Wi-Fi commonly found in such establishments to an authorized person/stakeholder receiving the picture to take proper action. The e-trap includes strong attractants (pheromone and/or food) to increase capture efficiency. The insect is trapped on the sticky floor of the device. The device carries the necessary optoelectronic sensors to guard all entrances of the trap. As the insect enters it interrupts the infrared light source. This triggers a detection event; a picture is taken, and a time-stamp is set before reporting the event through the Wi-Fi. The device can be integrated seamlessly in urban environments and operates unobtrusively to human activities. We report results on various insect pests and depending on the insect species, can reach a detection accuracy ranging from 96-99%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0136.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Paleontology Keywords: Insecta; Polyneoptera; Gzhelian; new insect locality; Pennsylvanian
Online: 8 November 2022 (02:12:32 CET)
Glaphyrophlebia victoriensis sp. nov. (Paoliida: Blattinopsidae) is the third Gzhelian representative of the genus and is described based on a beautiful forewing from the Var department in Southern France. Together with the description of another forewing fragment of a Glaphyrophlebia sp. from the Province of León in NW Spain, they improve our knowledge of fossil insects from French and Spanish late Carboniferous deposits. The specimen of Glaphyrophlebia sp. is the first mention of the family in the Carboniferous of Spain and extends the geographical distribution of the genus. These descriptions suggest that the genus Glaphyrophlebia was speciose during the Upper Pennsylvanian, while otherwise, very diverse in the early and middle Permian strata of the Russian Federation. We proposed the first hypothesis to explain the diversification of family and of its most speciose genera, and argue their diversity dynamics were likely linked with the major environmental changes that followed the collapse of the Carboniferous rainforest notably the extension of arid biomes during the Permian period. The exquisite preservation and the fineness of the sediment from Tante Victoire, in which the new species was found, suggests that the locality is suitable for preserving other fossil insects and will require additional investigations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0236.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control And Systems Engineering Keywords: RFID; social insects; Apis; Melipona; insect behaviour
Online: 17 May 2018 (06:33:55 CEST)
This paper introduces both a hardware and a software system designed to allow low-cost electronic monitoring of social insects using RFID tags. Data formats for individual insect identification and their associated experiment are proposed to facilitate data sharing from experiments conducted with this system. The antenna's configuration and their duty cycle ensure a high degree of detection rates. Other advantages and limitations of this system are discussed in detail in the paper.
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Energy consumption monitoring system; Building energy conservation management; Insect Intelligent Building technology; Computing process node; Insect intelligent algorithm
Online: 4 September 2019 (14:27:48 CEST)
In this paper, the methodology using Insect Intelligent Building (I^2B) technology for establishing energy consumption monitoring system of public buildings is prevailed. The computing process node and distributed algorithm are utilized to implement the energy consumption collection and data transmission and data pre-processing. Taking a commercial building as a case study, CPNs are applied to set up the building energy consumption monitoring system, with the Spanning Tree Algorithm for generating network topology，and BPNN method for solving abnormal data and recovering missing data. The research results demonstrate the proposed method can effectively improve the performance of plug-and-play and self-identified and self-configuration of energy consumption monitoring system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2074.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: phytohormone; auxin; insect gall; aromatic aldehyde synthase; inhibitor
Online: 30 May 2023 (07:58:03 CEST)
Gall-inducing insects often contain high concentrations of phytohormones, such as auxin and cytokinin, which are suggested to be involved in gall induction, but no conclusive evidence has been obtained. There are two possible approaches to investigating the importance of phytohormones in gall induction: demonstrating either that high phytohormone productivity can induce gall-inducing ability in non-gall-inducing insects, or that gall-inducing ability is inhibited when phytohormone productivity in galling insects is suppressed. In this study, we show that the overexpression of PonAAS2, which encodes an aromatic aldehyde synthase (AAS) responsible for the rate-limiting step in indoleacetic acid (IAA) biosynthesis in a galling sawfly (Pontania sp.) that contains high levels of endogenous IAA, conferred high IAA productivity on Caenorhabditis elegans, as the model system. This result strongly suggests that PonAAS2 can also confer high IAA productivity on low-IAA-producing insects. We also successfully identified an inhibitor of PonAAS2 in a chemical library. This highly selective inhibitor showed stronger inhibitory activity against AAS than against aromatic amino acid decarboxylase, which belongs to the same superfamily as AAS. We also confirm that this inhibitor clearly inhibited IAA productivity in the high-IAA-producing C. elegans engineered here.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0034.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: insect; genome; biopesticide; silencing; topical; gene target; validation
Online: 5 October 2022 (10:57:47 CEST)
Global crop yields are estimated to be reduced by 30–40% per year on account of plant pests and pathogens. Agricultural insect pests raise concerns about constraining global food security and climate changes contributing to the rise of infestation. The current management relies on plant breeding, associated or not with transgenes and chemical pesticides. Both approaches face serious technology obsolescence on the field due to resistance breakdown or development of insecticide resistance. The need for new Modes of Action (MoA) approaches in managing crop health grows each year, driven by market demands to reduce economic losses and phytosanitary requirements to meet the consumer perception. Disabling pest genes by sequence-specific expression silencing is considered a promising tool in the development of environment and health respectful biopesticides. The specificity conferred by long dsRNA-base solutions give support to minimizing effects on off-targeted genes in the insect pest genome and the target gene in non-target organisms (NTOs). In this review, we summarize the current status of gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) for agricultural control. More specifically, we focus on the engineering, development and application of gene silencing to control Lepidoptera by the employment of non-transforming dsRNA technologies. Despite some delivery and stability drawbacks of topical applications, we reviewed works showing convincing proof-of-concept results that point to imminent innovative solutions. Considerations about the regulamentation of the ongoing research on dsRNA-based pesticides to produce commercialized products for exogenous application are discussed. Academic and industry initiatives reveal a worthy effort to accomplish controlling Lepidoptera pests with this new mode of action to provide more sustainable and reliable technologies to field management. New data on genomics of this taxon encourage the increment of a customized target genes portfolio. As a case of study, we illustrate how dsRNA and associated methodologies could be applied to control an important Lepidopteran coffee pest.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0465.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: insect; leaf miner; Coffea; pest control; biopesticide; silencing
Online: 29 August 2022 (04:27:45 CEST)
Background, Leucoptera coffeella (Guerin-Meneville, 1842) is a moth species (Lyonetiidae, Lepidoptera) pest that causes severe losses to coffee crops. Further information about its genomic data is required to allow molecular strategies for the development of sustainable pesticides and to gain in-depth knowledge on phylogenetics. However, the closest complete genome available is within the superfamily level (Yponomeutoidea). Here we report the generation of the first long-read genome, transcriptome and proteome results of L. coffeella and the in silico analysis performed in these molecular levels to investigate genes involved in the siRNA processing. Results, PACBio and paired-end Illumina combined DNA sequencing from pupae samples resulted in more than 436 Gb subreads and 31Mb reads with N50 read length of 15,512 nt, mean read length 13.8 Kb and max read length 420.7 Kb. Additionally, 20Gb data of short DNA sequencing was combined to produce 1,984 contigs comprising 397 Mb in total. The longest and shortest scaffold sizes are 10,809,567 nt and 15,247 nt, respectively (mean size 200,178 nt). The N50 scaffold was 275,598 nt and the GC content was 36.10%. Predicted coding DNA sequences counted 39.930 gene models. Searching of 5286 BUSCO groups revealed 91.7 percent of completeness (single and duplicated genes combined) compared to lepidoptera genomes (lepidoptera_odb10). Flow cytometry showed the 1C DNA content is approximately 295 Mb. RNA-Seq from seven development stages resulted in 28294 identified transcripts. Additionally, proteomics from immature stages resulted in 2045 proteins matching the gene models. Conclusions, This first nuclear genome of the Lyonetiidae family brings valuable molecular resources to study Lepidoptera genomes. Genome, transcriptome and proteome sequencing to raise genome annotation precision may resolve uncovered taxonomic issues. In addition, these combined approaches provide insights into plant-insect interaction players, as horizontally transferred genes (HGT) and endosymbionts. Put together, the generated data enables the development of molecular tools towards sustainable biotechnology solutions for lepidopteran pest control.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0516.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: machine learning; insect-damage; spectral data; theoretical model
Online: 23 February 2021 (14:12:28 CET)
In cotton cultivars, an insect that causes irreversible damage is the Spodoptera frugiperda, known as the fall armyworm. Since the visual detection of plants is a burdensome task for human inspection, the spectral information related to plant damage, registered on a spectral scale, can be useful. These measurements, associated with machine learning techniques, produce useful information for a rapid and non-invasive inspection method development. To contribute to this gap fulfillment, this paper proposes a machine learning framework to model the spectral response of cotton plants under the attack of the fall armyworm. Additionally, a theoretical model is presented, built from the results of the machine learning analysis, to infer this damage with up-to-date orbital sensors. The data was composed of the reflectance measurements collected at a cotton field with control plants and plants submitted to Spodoptera frugiperda damage. Their spectral response was recorded with a hand-held spectroradiometer ranging from 350 to 2,500 nm, for eight consecutive days. Different machine learning models were evaluated and the overall best model was defined by accuracies comparisons on a testing-set. A ranking approach was adopted based on the model accuracy, returning the most contributive wavelengths for the classification. Sequentially, an unsupervised neural network (Self-Organizing Map - SOM) was implemented to reduce data-dimensionality and assist in the definition of important spectral regions. The regions were associated with the spectral bands of the two sensors (OLI and MSI) and a theoretical model using a band simulation process with the overall best machine learning model was proposed. The results indicated that the Random Forest (RF) algorithm is the most suitable to predict cotton-plants damaged by insects and that the last day of analysis (8th day) was better to separate it, with F-measure equals 0.912. The ranking approach combined with the SOM method indicated the spectral regions at the red to near-infrared (650 to 1,350 nm) and shortwave infrared (1,570 to 1,640 nm) as the most important regions to the analysis. The proposed theoretical model simulated with the OLI and MSI sensor-bands returned an F-Measure of 0.865 and 0.886, respectively. In conclusion, this framework can be used to map cotton-plants under insect-attack. The theoretical model presents high accuracy to infer the insect-damaged on cotton plants based on multispectral bands from other sensors, being a useful tool for future research that intends to evaluate it in other areas and at different field scales.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0204.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Lipidome; High Five insect cells; Membrane proteins; Biomembranes
Online: 8 February 2021 (12:23:09 CET)
The lipid composition of biomembranes influence the properties of the lipid bilayer as well as that of the proteins. In this study, the lipidome and the lipid/protein ratio of membranes from High FiveTM insect cells overexpressing mouse P-glycoprotein was characterized. This provides a better understanding of the lipid environment in which P-glycoprotein is embedded, and thus of its functional and structural properties. The relative abundance of the distinct phospholipid classes and their acyl chain composition was characterized. A mass ratio of 0.57 +/- 0.11 phospholipids to protein was obtained. Phosphatidylethanolamines are the most abundant phospholipids, followed by phosphatidylcholines. Membranes are also enriched in negatively charged lipids (phosphatidylserines, phosphatidylinositols and phosphatidylglycerols), and contain small amounts of sphingomyelins, ceramides and monoglycosilatedceramides. The most abundant acyl chains are monounsaturated, with significant amounts of saturated chains. The characterization of the phospholipids by HPLC-MS allowed identification of the combination of acyl chains, with palmitoyl-oleoyl being the most representative for all major phospholipid classes except for phosphatidylserines, which are mostly saturated. A mixture of POPE:POPC:POPS in the ratio 45:35:20 is proposed for the preparation of simple representative model membranes. The adequacy of the model membranes was further evaluated by characterizing their surface potential and fluidity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0384.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Arachnida; insect; phylogenomics methods; target enrichment; ultraconserved elements
Online: 4 August 2019 (16:54:42 CEST)
Targeted enrichment of ultraconserved elements (UCE) has emerged as a promising tool for inferring evolutionary history in many taxa, with utility ranging from phylogenetic and phylogeographic questions at deep time scales to population level studies at shallow time scales. However, the methodology can be daunting for beginners. Our goal is to introduce UCE phylogenomics to a wider audience by summarizing recent advances in arthropod research, and to familiarize readers with background theory and steps involved. We define terminology used in association with the UCE approach, evaluate current laboratory and bioinformatic methods and limitations, and, finally, provide a roadmap of steps in the UCE pipeline to assist phylogeneticists in making informed decisions as they employ this powerful tool. By facilitating increased adoption of UCE in phylogenomics studies that deepen our comprehension of the function of these markers across widely divergent taxa, we aim to ultimately improve understanding of the arthropod tree of life.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: venom; Hymenoptera; social insect; envenomation; toxins; peptides; pharmacology
Online: 27 May 2019 (12:47:52 CEST)
Pain is a natural bioassay for detecting and quantifying biological activities of venoms. The painfulness of stings delivered by ants, wasps, and bees can be easily measured in the field or lab using the stinging insect pain scale that rates the pain intensity from 1 to 4, with 1 being minor pain, and 4 being extreme, debilitating, excruciating pain. The painfulness of stings of 96 species of stinging insects and the lethalities of the venoms of 90 species was determined and utilized for pinpointing future promising directions for investigating venoms having pharmaceutically active principles that could benefit humanity. The findings suggest several under- or unexplored insect venoms worthy of future investigations, including: those that have exceedingly painful venoms, yet with extremely low lethality – tarantula hawk wasps (Pepsis) and velvet ants (Mutillidae); those that have extremely lethal venoms, yet induce very little pain – the ants, Daceton and Tetraponera; and those that have venomous stings and are both painful and lethal – the ants Pogonomyrmex, Paraponera, Myrmecia, Neoponera, and the social wasps Synoeca, Agelaia, and Brachygastra. Taken together, and separately, sting pain and venom lethality point to promising directions for mining of pharmaceutically active components derived from insect venoms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0195.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: precision agriculture, electronic insect traps, internet of things
Online: 29 May 2017 (10:02:26 CEST)
Τhe concept of remote insect surveillance at large spatial scales for a number of serious insect pests of agricultural and medical importance is introduced in a series of our papers. We augment typical, low-cost plastic traps for many insect pests with the necessary optoelectronic sensors to guard the entrance of the trap in order to detect, time-stamp, GPS tag, and –in relevant cases- identify the species of the incoming insect from their wingbeat. For every important crop pest there are monitoring protocols to be followed in order to decide when to initiate a treatment procedure before a serious infestation occurs. Monitoring protocols are mainly based on specifically designed insect traps. Traditional insect monitoring suffers in that the scope of such monitoring: is curtailed by its cost, requires intensive labor, is time consuming, an expert is often needed for sufficient accuracy and can sometimes raise safety issues for humans. These disadvantages reduce the extent to which manual insect monitoring is applied and therefore its accuracy, which finally results in significant crop loss due to damage caused by pests. With the term ‘surveillance’ we intend to push the monitoring idea to unprecedented levels of information extraction regarding the presence, time-stamping detection events, species identification and population density of targeted insect pests. Insect counts as well as environmental parameters that correlate with insect’s population development are wirelessly transmitted to the central monitoring agency in real time, are visualized and streamed to statistical methods to assist enforcement of security control to insect pests. In this work we emphasize on how the traps can be self-organized in networks that collectively report data at local, regional, country, continental, and global scales using the emerging technology of the Internet of Things (IoT). This research is necessarily interdisciplinary and falls at the intersection of entomology, optoelectronic engineering, data-science and crop science and encompasses the design and implementation of low-cost, low-power technology to help reduce the extent of quantitative and qualitative crop losses by many the most significant agricultural pests. We argue that smart traps communicating through IoT to report in real-time the level of the pest population from the field straight to a human controlled agency can, in the very near future, have a profound impact on the decision making process in crop protection and will be disruptive of existing manual practices. In the present study, three cases are investigated : monitoring Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) using a) Picusan and b) Lindgren trap, and c) monitoring various stored grain beetle pests using the pitfall trap.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0538.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Wolbachia, Aedes, population replacement, population suppression, incompatible insect technique
Online: 20 April 2021 (11:51:55 CEST)
Mosquitoes carrying endosymbiotic bacteria called Wolbachia are being released in mosquito and arbovirus control programs around the world. Open field releases of Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes have achieved over 95% population suppression, while the replacement of populations with Wolbachia-infected females is self-sustaining and can greatly reduce local dengue transmission. Despite many successful interventions, significant questions and challenges lie ahead. Wolbachia, viruses and their mosquito hosts can evolve, leading to uncertainty around the long-term effectiveness of a given Wolbachia strain, while few ecological impacts of Wolbachia releases have been explored. Wolbachia strains are diverse and the choice of strain to release should be made carefully, taking environmental conditions and the release objective into account. Mosquito quality control, thoughtful community awareness programs and long-term monitoring of populations are essential for all types of Wolbachia intervention. Releases of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes show great promise, but existing control measures remain an important way to reduce the burden of mosquito-borne disease.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0518.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: insect neuropeptides; pyrokinins; trans peptide bond; imidazoline ring; SPOS;
Online: 19 April 2021 (21:18:57 CEST)
A facile solid-phase synthetic method for incorporating the imidazoline ring motif, a surrogate for a trans peptide bond, into bioactive peptides is reported. The example described is the synthesis of an imidazoline peptidomimetic analog of an insect pyrokinin neuropeptide via a cyclization reaction of an iminium salt generated from the preceding amino acid and 2,4-diaminopropanoic acid (Dap).
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0140.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Insect decline; Tracheal system; Tracheole; Fine dust; Ultrafine particles
Online: 5 September 2020 (11:59:33 CEST)
Is the extensive decline of insects partially due to an insect-specific feature of their functional organization that is disadvantageous for living in an industrialized environment? The unique way in which gases are supplied in insect tissues is such a special trait. It exposes cells directly to the gas phase, via tracheae that end in micro-tubes, the tracheoles, which have diameters in the same range as particles of ultra-fine dust transported by air of industrialized countries. Number and volume of these particles – calculated to be inhaled by honeybees, e.g., – are indicative to locally impede O2-uptake and CO2-release and thus to restrain physiological activities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0271.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: genome assembly; monoxenous trypanosomatids; insect trypanosomatids; trypanosomatidae; whole genome
Online: 24 October 2019 (05:20:52 CEST)
We presented here the first draft genome sequence of the trypanosomatid Herpetomonas muscarum ingenoplastis. This parasite was isolated repeatedly in the black blowfly, Phormia regina. This is the first draft genome of a flagellate from the phylogenetically distinct clade of Trypanosomatidae.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: mosquito; Aedes aegypti; Diptera; Culicidae; insect growth regulator; pyriproxyfen
Online: 22 May 2019 (09:45:59 CEST)
Abstract: Aedes aegypti were exposed to water treated with mosquitocidal chips containing the insecticide pyriproxyfen in a polymer formulation. Chips were tested under different conditions; different water volumes, in containers made of different material, and in water with different levels of organic matter. Treated chips caused 100% mortality of Ae. aegypti during their pupal stage independent of conditions chips were exposed to in water. When tested for longevity, the chips containing 840 µg of pyriproxyfen killed 100% of Ae. aegypti for 4 sequential months of the chips being reused in water. Chips containing 8.4 µg of pyriproxyfen ceased to work after the first week of treatment. When mosquitocidal chips were used in > 25% of the oviposition containers within their cages, there was a significant control of the mosquito populations. Mosquitocidal chips worked in different environments, lasted for extended periods of time, caused significant mosquito population decreases, and were effective in controlling Ae. Aegypti.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0127.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: ant community; disturbance ecology; forest ecology; insect outbreaks; natural disturbances
Online: 3 May 2023 (10:04:06 CEST)
Insect outbreaks are major drivers of natural disturbances in forest ecosystems. Outbreaks can have both direct and indirect effects on the composition of soil arthropod communities, through canopy opening, nutrient addition and predator-prey interactions. In this study, we aim to understand the effects of forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria; FTC) outbreaks on ant communities in both temperate and boreal forests in Canada. Using pitfall traps and Berlese funnels, we compared the ant communities as well as the surrounding arthropod communities between control and outbreak sites in boreal andboreal and temperate forests (in Québec, Canada). Using the Sørensen dissimilarity index, we determined the alpha and beta diversity of the ant community. Other arthropods collected in the traps were counted to evaluate the richness and abundance of potential prey for the ants and other potential predators of the FTC. We used an indicator species analysis to examine the species associated with sites defoliated by the outbreak. In the boreal forest, we found that FTC outbreaks caused decreases in species richness and increases in the evenness of ant communities in defoliated sites. In the boreal forest sites, species composition varied significantly between control and outbreak sites. This pattern was driven by the presence of other predators. We also saw no changes in beta diversity in the boreal forest but did see a significant decrease in the temperate forest between the outbreak sites and the control sites. A similar, but weaker pattern was observed in the temperate forest. Ant species in the boreal forest tended to exhibit a more marked preference for either control or previously defoliated sites than species in the temperate forest. Our study showed that disturbances like insect outbreaks can drive changes in the ant community. While we saw small effects of outbreaks, manipulation experiments using resource addition could help us validate the mechanisms behind these relationships.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0454.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: CRISPR-Cas technology; pest management; plant stress resistance; insect resistance
Online: 29 September 2022 (07:08:41 CEST)
Global crop yield and food security are being threatened by phytophagous insects. Innovative methods are required to increase agricultural output while reducing reliance on hazardous synthetic insecticides. It appears to be quite effective at reducing production costs and boosting farm profitability to use the ground-breaking CRISPR-Cas technology to create plants that are insect resistant. In contrast, this new technique can modify an insect's genome to either produce gene drive or get beyond an insect's tolerance to various insecticides. This paper reviews and critically discusses the use of CRISPR-Cas genome editing technology in long-term insect pest management. The emphasis of this review is on the prospective uses of the CRISPR-Cas system for insect stress management in crop production by creating genome-edited crops and insects. The potential and difficulties of using CRISPR-Cas technology to reduce pest stress in crop plants are critically examined and discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0182.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: sterile insect technique; Aedes aegypti; suppression study; irradiation; vector control
Online: 6 April 2021 (15:27:55 CEST)
Dengue virus infections are a serious public health problem worldwide. Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of dengue in Cuba. Since there is no vaccine or specific treatment, the control efforts are directed to reduce mosquito populations. The indiscriminate use of pesticides can lead to increase insecticide resistance as well as adverse effects on human health. The sterile insect technique is a species-specific and environmental friendly method of insect control based on the release of large numbers of sterile males. The success of this technique in sustainable control of agricultural pests has encouraged its evaluation for mosquito control. Here, we describe an open field trial to evaluate the effect of the release of irradiated males on a wild population of Aedes aegypti. The case-control study was performed in a suburb of Havana, and compared the mosquito population before and after the intervention, in both control and treated areas. The wild population was monitored by an ovitrap network, recording frequency and density of eggs as well as their hatch rate. A significant induced sterility was observed in the field population, compared to the control. The ovitrap index and the mean eggs/ trap declined dramatically after an expected lag period of twelve and five weeks, respectively. For the last three weeks, no egg was collected in the treated area, evidencing a significant suppression of the wild population. We conclude that the sterile males released competed successfully, and induced enough sterility to suppress the local Aedes aegypti population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0166.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: antimicrobial peptides; cellular defense; insect pathology; phenoloxidae; phospholipase A2; protease
Online: 15 April 2019 (11:45:11 CEST)
Xenorhabdus nematophila and Photorhabdus luminescens are entomopathogenic symbionts that produce several toxic proteins that can interfere with the immune system of insects. Here, we showed that outer membrane proteins (OMPs) could be involved as virulence factors during bacterial symbiont pathogenesis. Purified OMPs from bacterial culture were injected fifth instar larvae of Spodoptera exigua Hübner. Larvae were surveyed for fluctuations in total haemocyte counts (THC), granulocyte percentage (cellular defence), protease, phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and phenoloxidase (PO) activities (humoral defence) at specific time intervals. Changes in the expression of the three antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), cecropin, attacin, and spodoptericin, were also measured. Larvae treated with both types of OMPs had more haemocytes than did the negative controls. OMPs of X. nematophila caused more haemocyte destruction than did the OMPs of P. luminescens. The OMPs of both bacterial species initially activated insect defensive enzymes post-injection, their activating fluctuated in different ways. Attacin, cecropin and spodoptericin were up-regulated by OMP injections more than in normal larvae. The expression of these three AMPs was maximal at four hpi with P. luminescens OMPs treatment. Expression of the three AMPs in X. nematophila treatment was irregular and lower than in the P. luminescens OMPs treatment. These findings provide insights into the role of OMPs of entomopathogenic nematode bacterial symbionts in countering the physiological defenses of insects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0263.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Tenebrio molitor; suppressor of cytokine signaling; insect immunity; gene expression
Online: 26 January 2019 (02:51:45 CET)
Suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) influence cytokine and growth factor signaling by negatively regulating the JAK-STAT pathway. This maintains homeostasis during host immune response. However, functional characterization of SOCS family members in invertebrates is limited. In this study, we discovered the Type-I subfamily of the SOCS genes in the mealworm beetle, T. molitor. The full-length ORFs of TmSOCS5, TmSOCS6, and TmSOCS7 consisted of 1,389, 897 and 1,458 nucleotides, encoding polypeptides of 462, 297 and 485 amino acids, respectively, The C-terminal region of TmSOCS was highly conserved in the SH2 and SOCS box domains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the three SOCS genes clustered within the same sub-family and the highest amino acid identity was with the Tribolium castaneum SOCS genes (TcSOCS). While the expression of TmSOCS5 and TmSOCS6 was low in larval, pupal, and adult stages of the insect, TmSOCS7 showed higher expression. The expression of TmSOCS5 and TmSOCS6 was higher in larval hemocytes and adult ovary. The microbes expressed the three TmSOCS genes to varying degrees. C. albicans elicited the strongest response in the host with highest 15-fold expression in TmSOCS7 3 h post-inoculation. Collectively, these data suggest that the Type I TmSOCS could play a role in eliciting host immunity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0483.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Hymenoptera; insect; bee; wasp; hornet; epidemiology; fatalities; venomous animals; public health
Online: 30 December 2021 (12:17:52 CET)
Epidemiology of Hymenopteran-related deaths in Europe due to bee, wasp and hornet stings (Cause Code of Death: X23) based on official registers from WHO Mortality Database is described. Over a 23-year period (1994-2016), a total of 1,691 fatalities were officially recorded, mostly occurring in Western (42.8%) and Eastern (31.9%) Europe. The victims tended to concentrate in: Germany (n=327; 1998-2015), France (n=211; 2000-2014) and Romania (n=149; 1999-2016). The majority of deaths occurred in males (78.1%), within the age group of 25-64 years (66.7%), and in an “unspecified place” (44.2%). The X23 gender ratio (X23GR) of mortality varied from a minimum of 1.4 for Norway to a maximum of 20 for Slovenia. The highest X23MR, expressed in terms of annual rates and per million inhabitants, were recorded in countries from Eastern Europe (0.35) followed by Western (0.28), Northern (0.23) and Southern Europe (0.2). The countries with the highest and lowest mean X23MR were Estonia (0.61), Austria (0.6) and Slovenia (0.55); and Ireland (0.05), United Kingdom (0.06) and the Netherlands (0.06), respectively. Country-by-country data show that the incidence of insect-sting mortality is statistically low, but not negligible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0215.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Insect-specific flavivirus; CpG; Dinucleotides; Innate immunity; Zinc-finger antiviral protein
Online: 8 February 2021 (15:46:14 CET)
The genus Flavivirus contains pathogenic vertebrate-infecting flaviviruses (VIFs) and in-sect-specific flaviviruses (ISF). ISF transmission to vertebrates is inhibited at multiple stages of the cellular infection cycle, via yet to be elucidated specific antiviral responses. The Zinc-finger an-tiviral protein (ZAP) in vertebrate cells can bind CpG dinucleotides in viral RNA, limiting virus replication. Interestingly, the genomes of ISFs contain more CpG dinucleotides compared to VIFs. In this study, we investigated whether ZAP prevents two recently discovered lineage II ISFs, Binjari (BinJV) and Hidden Valley viruses (HVV) from replicating in vertebrate cells. BinJV protein and dsRNA replication intermediates were readily observed in human ZAP knockout cells when cultured at 34 ˚C. In ZAP expressing cells, inhibition of the interferon response via interferon response factors 3/7 did not improve BinJV protein expression, whereas treatment with kinase inhibitor C16, known to reduce ZAP’s antiviral function, did. Importantly, at 34 ˚C both BinJV and HVV successfully completed the infection cycle in human ZAP knockout cells evident from infectious progeny virus in the cell culture supernatant. Therefore, we identify vertebrate ZAP as an important barrier that protects vertebrate cells from ISF infection This provides new insights into flavivirus evolution and the mechanisms associated with host switching.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0099.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: genetically modified insects; symbiosis; microbiome; transgenic; self-limiting; insect rearing; mutualism
Online: 7 March 2019 (14:00:12 CET)
Mass insect rearing can have a range of applications, for example in biological control of insects. Since the performance of released biological control agents determines efficacy, the competitive fitness of insects post release is a key variable. Here, we tested whether inoculation with a gut symbiont, Enterobacter cloacae, and gnotobiotic rearing of larvae could improve insect growth and male competitive fitness of a transgenic diamondback moth, which has shown variation in fitness when reared in different insectaries. All larvae were readily infected with the focal symbiont. Under gnotobiotic rearing pupal weights were reduced and there was a marginal reduction in larval survival. However, gnotobiotic rearing substantially improved the fitness of transgenic males. In addition, in gnotobiotic conditions, inoculation with the gut symbiont increased pupal weights and male fitness, increasing the proportion of transgenic progeny from 20 to 30% relative to symbiont-free insects. Gnotobiotic conditions may improve the fitness of transgenic males by excluding microbial contaminants, while symbiont inoculation could further improve fitness by providing additional protection against infections, or by normalizing insect physiology. The simple innovation of incorporating antibiotic into diet, and inoculating insects with symbiotic bacteria that are resistant to that antibiotic, could provide a readily transferable tool for other insect rearing systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0412.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: laser for mosquito control; deep learning for mosquito control; insect detection; mosquito neutralization; pest detection; insect recognition; Raspberry Pi3; Raspberry Pi4; OpenCV for small object detect
Online: 2 August 2021 (16:44:07 CEST)
More than 700 thousand human deaths from mosquito bites are observed annually in the world. It is more than 2 times the number of annual murders in the world. In this regard, the invention of new more effective methods of protection against mosquitoes is necessary. In this article for the first time, comprehensive studies of mosquito neutralization using machine vision and a 1 W power laser are considered. Developed laser installation with Raspberry Pi that changing the direction of the laser with a galvanometer. We developed a program for mosquito tracking in real. The possibility of using deep neural networks, Haar cascades, machine learning for mosquito recognition was considered. We considered in detail the classification problems of mosquitoes in images. A recommendation is given for the implementation of this device based on a microcontroller for subsequent use as part of an unmanned aerial vehicle. Any harmful insects in the fields can be used as objects for control.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0337.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: combined insect-resistance; QTNs; functional prioritization; fall armyworm; maize weevil; stem borers
Online: 1 June 2020 (02:19:01 CEST)
Several herbivores feed on maize in field and storage setups making the development of multiple-insect resistance a critical breeding target. In this study, an association mapping panel of 341 tropical maize lines was evaluated in three field environments for resistance to FAW (fall armyworm) whilst bulked grains were subjected to MW (maize weevil) bioassay, genotyped with Diversity Array Technologies single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) markers. A multi-locus genome-wide association study (GWAS) revealed 62 quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs) associated with FAW and MW resistance traits on all 10 maize chromosomes, of which, 47 and 31 were discovered at stringent Bonferroni genome-wide significance level of 0.05 and 0.01, respectively, and located within or close to multiple-insect resistance genomic regions (MIRGRs) concerning FAW, SB, and MW. Sixteen QTNs influenced multiple-traits of which six were associated with resistance to both FAW and MW suggesting a pleiotropic genetic control. Functional prioritization of candidate genes (CGs) located within 10-30kb of the QTNs revealed 64 putative GWAS-based CGs (GbCGs) showing evidence of involvement in plant defense mechanisms. Only one GbCG was associated with each of five of the six combined-resistance QTNs, thus, reinforcing the pleiotropy hypothesis. In addition, through In-silico co-functional network inferences, an additional 107 Network-based CGs (NbCGs), biologically connected to the 64 GbCGs, differentially expressed under biotic or abiotic stress were revealed within MIRGRs. The provided multiple-insect resistance physical map should contribute to the development of combined-insect resistance in maize.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0190.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: built environment; health equity; insect vectors; public health; social determinants of health
Online: 29 February 2020 (11:01:03 CET)
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are primary vectors of dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika viruses. Ae. aegypti is highly anthropophilic and relies nearly exclusively on human blood meals and habitats for reproduction. Socioeconomic factors may influence the spread of Ae. aegypti due to its close relationship with humans. This paper describes and summarizes the published literature on how socioeconomic variables influence the distribution of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes in the mainland United States. A comprehensive search of PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, and EBSCO Academic Search Complete through June 12, 2019 was used to retrieve all articles published in English on the association of socioeconomic factors and the distribution of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Additionally, a hand search of mosquito control association websites was conducted in an attempt to identify relevant grey literature. Articles were screened for eligibility using the process described in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Initially, 3,493 articles were identified through the database searches and previously known literature. After checking for duplicates, 2,145 articles remained. 570 additional records were identified through the grey literature search for a total of 2,715 articles. These articles were screened for eligibility using their titles and abstracts, and 2,677 articles were excluded for not meeting the eligibility criteria. Finally, the full text for each of the remaining articles (n = 38) was read to determine eligibility. Through this screening process, 11 articles were identified for inclusion in this review. The findings for these 11 studies revealed inconsistent relationships between the studied socioeconomic factors and the distribution and abundance of Ae. aegypti. The findings of this review suggest a gap in the literature and understanding of the influence of anthropogenic factors on the distribution of Ae. aegypti that could hinder efforts to implement effective public health prevention and control strategies should a disease outbreak occur.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0300.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: artificial selection; biological control; genetics; genome assembly; genomics; insect breeding; microbiome; modelling
Online: 24 November 2019 (17:10:31 CET)
Biological control is widely successful for controlling pests, but effective biocontrol agents are now more difficult to obtain due to more restrictive international trade laws. Coupled with increasing demand, the efficacy of existing and new biocontrol agents needs to be improved with genetic and genomic approaches. Although they have been underutilised in the past, applying genetic and genomic techniques is becoming more feasible from both technological and economic perspectives. We review current methods and provide a framework for using them, incorporating evolutionary and ecological principles. First, it is necessary to identify which biocontrol trait to select and in what direction. Next, the genes or markers linked to these traits need be determined to better target their selection, followed by how to implement this information into a breeding program. Choosing a trait can be assisted by modelling to account for the proper agro-ecological context, and by knowing which traits have sufficiently high heritability values. We provide guidelines for designing genomic strategies in biocontrol programs, which depends on the organism, budget, and desired objective. Genomic approaches start with genome sequencing and assembly. We provide a guide for deciding the most successful sequencing strategy for biocontrol agents. Gene discovery involves quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses, transcriptomic and proteomic studies, and gene editing. Improving biocontrol practices include marker-assisted selection, genomic selection and microbiome manipulation of biocontrol agents, and monitoring for genetic variation during rearing and post-release. We conclude by identifying the most promising applications of genetic and genomic methods to improve biological control efficacy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0489.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria); insect outbreak; defoliation event; MicroResp; soil microbial activity
Online: 28 February 2023 (02:30:32 CET)
With climate change projected to increase the frequency and severity of episodic insect outbreak events, assessing potential consequences for soil microbial communities and nutrient dynamics is of importance for understanding forest resilience. The forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) is an important defoliator of deciduous tree species in temperate and mixed forests of eastern North America with an invasion cycle every 10-12 years and outbreak events that can last 3-6 years. Following a defoliation episode on trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) from 2015 to 2017 in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, QC, Canada, we sought to test if defoliation resulted in changes to soil bacterial and fungal communities. We hypothesized an increase in soil microbial biomass due to increased caterpillar frass inputs and potential changes in community structure following the event. Soils were sampled in July 2018, May 2019 and July 2019 from sites that had been subject to defoliation during the outbreak and from sites where no defoliation had been recorded. We assessed soil microbial biomass and fungal to total microbial activity ratio on all sampling dates, and Community Level Physiological Profiles (CLPPs) for 2018 only using a substrate induced respiration method. Contrary to our hypothesis, we observed a significant 50% decrease in microbial biomass (g biomass-C g-1 soil hour-1) in defoliated stands suggesting tree carbon normally allocated towards root exudates was reallocated towards foliage regeneration. We noted a differentiated carbon-based substrate usage following defoliation, but no change in the fungal to total microbial activity ratio. The observed changes in the two years following the defoliation event suggest that defoliation episodes aboveground could trigger changes in soil chemistry belowground with effects on soil microbial communities that may, in turn, feedback to influence forest plant dynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0474.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9; knockout; rescue; desiccation tolerance; anhydrobiosis; Polypedilum vanderplanki; HSF1; insect cell; Pv11
Online: 19 April 2021 (12:17:34 CEST)
Pv11, an insect cell line established from the midge Polypedilum vanderplanki, is capable of ametabolic desiccation tolerance, so-called anhydrobiosis. We previously discovered that heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) contributes to the acquisition of desiccation tolerance by Pv11 cells, but the mechanistic details have yet to be elucidated. Here, by analyzing the gene expression profiles of newly established HSF1-knockout and -rescue cell lines, we show that HSF1 has a genome-wide effect on gene regulation in Pv11. HSF1-knockout cells exhibit a reduced desiccation survival rate, but this is completely restored in HSF1-rescue cells. By comparing mRNA profiles of the two cell lines, we reveal that HSF1 induces anhydrobiosis-related genes, especially genes encoding late embryogenesis abundant proteins and thioredoxins, but represses a group of genes involved in basal cellular processes, thus promoting an ametabolic state in the cell. In addition, HSF1 binding motifs are enriched in the promoters of anhydrobiosis-related genes and we demonstrate binding of HSF1 to these promoters by ChIP-qPCR. Thus, HSF1 directly regulates the transcription of anhydrobiosis-related genes and consequently plays a pivotal role in the induction of anhydrobiotic ability in Pv11 cells.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0276.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Citral; essential oil; integrated pest management; insect-repellent; lemongrass; MEP pathway; mevalonate pathway
Online: 13 September 2020 (11:30:41 CEST)
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) is an aromatic perennial grass grown extensively for its essential oil. Lemongrass oil is chiefly a mixture of various cyclic and acyclic bioactive monoterpenes. We reviewed lemongrass oil and its biosynthesis in the present chapter along with its biochemical composition. Furthermore, we attempted to explore both the possible routes for essential oil biosynthesis in lemongrass, i.e. mevalonate and non-mevalonate pathways and how these pathways interwind with each other. Lemongrass oil has high commercial potential in medicinal, cosmetic, food and energy industries. Regarding the pharmacological properties, a wide array of biological activities has been observed in lemongrass oil such as antimicrobial, insecticidal, analgesic and anti-cancer properties as well as its efficacy as insect-repellent. The later sections were dedicated for the analysis of insecticidal property of the lemongrass oil and the mechanism working behind this phenomenon where it was observed that in addition to synergistic effects, various components of lemongrass oil can also induce specific neurotoxic and cytotoxic responses in the insects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0422.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Biological control; fitness attributes; glyphosate; Herbicide; insect; integrated weed management; Parthenium; Zygogramma bicolorata; weed
Online: 24 January 2023 (03:31:54 CET)
The ecotoxic effect of glyphosate, a commonly used Parthenium control herbicide, was evaluated in laboratory on biological and fitness attributes of Zygogramma bicolorata. Bioassay of glyphosate was carried within a minimum range of field recommended dose. Indirect exposure experiment reveals that glyphosate caused maximum mortality of 3rd larval instars, extends the development stages of larvae, pre pupation and pupation. Significant negative effect was observed on sex ratio, fecundity, egg viability and on other fitness attributes. The study demonstrated the non-compatibility of glyphosate and unsafe with Zygogramma bicolorata. The study concludes that owing to acute toxicity of glyphosate at recommended field dose may be used in combination with Z. bicolorata for successful control of Parthenium weed, but needs to be evaluated under natural field conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0587.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: dioecious; landscape connectivity; plant-insect interactions; metacommunity assembly; Mount St. Helens; willow; invasive species
Online: 31 December 2022 (08:21:02 CET)
Major disturbances fundamentally alter ecosystems through the transformation of both biotic and abiotic factors. The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 resulted in a cataclysmic restructuring of its surrounding landscapes. The Pumice Plain is one of these landscapes, where tree species such as Sitka willow (Salix sitchensis) and their dependent communities have established along newly-formed streams. Thus, the study of these dependent communities provides a unique opportunity to investigate factors influencing metacommunity assembly during true primary succession. We analyzed the influence of landscape connectivity on metacommunity assembly through a novel application of circuit theory, alongside the effects of other factors such as stream locations, willow leaf chemistry, and leaf area. We found that landscape connectivity structures community composition on willows across the Pumice Plain, while our other factors had varied effects. Most importantly, multiple levels of spatial habitat structure linked via landscape connectivity can predict the presence of organisms lacking high rates of dispersal, such as the invasive stem-boring poplar weevil (Cryptorhynchus lapathi). This is critical for management as we show that the maintenance of a heterogeneous mixture of landscape connectivities and resource locations can facilitate meta-community dynamics to promote ecosystem function and mitigate the influences of invasive species.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: adaptive significance; evolution of gall insects; gall-inducing insects; gall formation mechanism; insect effectors
Online: 24 August 2021 (13:04:19 CEST)
Galls are characteristic plant structures formed by cell size enlargement and/or cell proliferation induced by parasitic or pathogenic organisms. Insects are a major inducer of galls, and insect galls can occur on plant leaves, stems, floral buds, flowers, fruits, or roots. Many of these exhibit unique shapes, providing shelter and nutrients to insects. To form unique gall structures, gall-inducing insects are believed to secrete certain effector molecules and hijack host developmental programs. However, the molecular mechanisms of insect gall induction and development remain largely unknown due to the difficulties associated with the study of non-model plants in the wild. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing have allowed us to determine the biological processes in non-model organisms, including gall-inducing insects and their host plants. In this review, we first summarize the adaptive significance of galls for insects and plants. Thereafter, we summarize recent progress regarding the molecular aspects of insect gall formation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0662.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Aesculus hippocastanum; insect pest; fungal disease; invasive species; leaf damage; model; competition; urban environment
Online: 26 April 2021 (12:13:43 CEST)
The horse chestnut leaf miner Cameraria ohridella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) is an invasive pest of horse chestnut and has spread through Europe since 1985. The horse chestnut leaf blotch Guignardia aesculi (Botryosphaeriales: Botryosphaeriaceae) is a fungal disease that also seriously damages horse chestnut trees in Europe. The interaction between the leaf miner and the fungus has not yet been sufficiently described. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess leaf damage inflicted to horse chestnut by both C. ohridella and G. aesculi during the vegetation season and to model their interaction. The damage to leaf area was measured monthly from May to September 2013 in České Budějovice, the Czech Republic. A simple phenomenological model describing the expected dynamics of the two species was developed. The study revealed a significant effect of sampling site and sampling period on the damage caused by both the pest and the fungus. The mathematical model indicates that infestation by C. ohridella is more affected by G. aesculi than vice versa. The possible mechanisms affecting the relationship between G. aesculi and C. ohridella are discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0181.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: honey bee virus; Hymenoptera; insect cell culture; cell lines; Apis mellifera; Deformed wing virus
Online: 12 February 2020 (09:06:34 CET)
With ongoing colony losses driven in part by the Varroa mite and the associated exacerbation of virus load, there is an urgent need to protect honey bees (Apis mellifera) from fatal levels of virus infection and from nontarget effects of insecticides used in agricultural settings. A continuously replicating cell line derived from the honey bee would provide a valuable tool for study of molecular mechanisms of virus – host interaction, for screening of antiviral agents for potential use within the hive, and for assessment of the risk of current and candidate insecticides to the honey bee. However, the establishment of a continuously replicating, honey bee cell line has proved challenging. Here we provide an overview of attempts to establish primary and continuously replicating hymenopteran cell lines, methods (including recent results) for establishing honey bee cell lines, challenges associated with the presence of latent viruses (especially Deformed wing virus), in established cell lines and methods to establish virus-free cell lines. We also describe the potential use of honey bee cell lines in conjunction with infectious clones of honey bee viruses for examination of fundamental virology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0068.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: olfaction, olfactory, odorants, pheromones, smell, electric field, electromagnetic radiation, electric field sensor, insect antennae
Online: 4 September 2018 (14:31:22 CEST)
The olfactory system is capable of distinguishing individual odorants from among a virtually unlimited number. Fish, for example, detect changes in the electric field environment induced by prey and other sources. Floral electric fields exhibit variations in pattern and structure, which can be discriminated by bumblebees. We have constructed an electric field sensor, which, in the course of focussing on achieving maximum sensitivity and consistency, ultimately resembles features of the insect sensorium. A “fingerprint” 3D plot ( time, frequency range, voltage amplitude), representing the emitted electric field profile, is presented for each of a variety of odorants and other chemicals. The substance-specific electric-field emission and identification is not impeded by containers or barriers or distance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0428.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: hybrid cheese; faba bean protein; insect protein; desirability-based mixture design; spreadability texture analysis; sensory analysis
Online: 27 February 2023 (01:44:30 CET)
As a result of the growing demand for foods with reduced animal protein content, many new alternative diets are now emerging. Nevertheless, recent studies have shown that the Western population is unprepared for drastic changes and is disinclined to accept foods based on alternative proteins. However, hybrid products might become a good transitional offer. This study used a desirability-based mixture design to model hybrid spreadable cheese analogues (SCAs). The design combined the dairy protein (MPC), Tenebrio molitor (IF) and faba bean (FBP) flours. Nine SCAs with different MPC/FBP/IF ratios were formulated, representing 0, 50 and 100% MPC replacement (7.1% of the formula). Incorporating the IF negatively impacted the desirable texture properties. The FBP flour improved the texture (achieving increased firmness and stickiness and decreased spreadability), but only when combined with MPC. Changing the MPC/FBP/IF ratio affected the colour of SCAs. Sensory analysis showed that hybrid SCAs (≤ 50% MPC) had a more characteristic cheesy flavour than the commercial plant-based reference, and sample C2 had a texture profile similar to the dairy reference. Samples containing IF showed a better flavour profile than the products without IF. The SCAs had higher protein and lower saturated fat, starch and sugar con-tent than commercial analogues.This study demonstrates that the inclusion of alternative proteins can be effective as a strategy to reduce dairy protein content in hybrid product formulations.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Fennel; Semi-natural habitat; Interspersion and juxtaposition index (IJI); Insecticides – Insect abundance and richness – Essential oil yield
Online: 12 April 2021 (12:43:39 CEST)
Agricultural landscapes are more and more characterized by intensification and habitat losses. Landscape composition and configuration are known to mediate insect abundance and richness. In the context of global insect decline, and despite 75% of crops being under insect’s dependence, there is still a gap of knowledge about the link between pollinators and aromatic crops. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is an aromatic plant cultivated in South of France, for its essential oil which is of great economic interest. Using pan-traps, we investigated the influence of the surrounding habitats at landscape scale (semi-natural habitat proportion and vicinity, landscape configuration) and local scale agricultural practices (insecticides and patch size) on fennel-flower-visitor abundance and richness and their subsequent impact on fennel essential oil yield. We found that fennel may to be a generalist plant species. We did not find any effect of intense local management practices on insect abundance and richness. Landscape configuration and the proximity to semi-natural habitat were the main drivers of flying insect’s family richness. This richness positively influenced fennel essential oil yield. Maintaining a complex configuration of patches at the landscape scale are important to sustain insect diversity and crop yield.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0478.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: antibacterial proteins; encapsulating protein; high molecular-weight bacteriocins; insect patho-genic bacterium; phage tail-like protein; purification methods
Online: 29 August 2022 (09:00:10 CEST)
Brevibacillus laterosporus (Bl) is a Gram-positive and spore-forming bacterium belonging to the Brevibacillus brevis phylogenetic cluster. Globally, insect pathogenic strains of the bacterium have been isolated, characterised, and some activities patented. Two isolates, Bl 1821L and Bl 1951, exhibiting pathogenicity against the diamondback moth and mosquitoes, are under development as a biopesticide in New Zealand. However, due to the suspected activity of putative antibacterial proteins (ABPs), the endemic isolates often grow erratically. Various purification methods including size exclusion chromatography, sucrose density gradient centrifugation, polyethylene glycol precipitation, and ammonium sulphate precipitation employed in this study enabled the isolation of two putative antibacterial proteins of ~30 kD and ~48 kD from Bl 1821L and one putative antibacterial protein of ~30 kD from Bl 1951. Purification of the uninduced cultures of Bl 1821L and Bl 1951 also yielded the protein bands of ~30 kD and ~48 kD on SDS-PAGE which indicated their spontaneous induction. Disc diffusion assay was used to determine the antagonistic activities of the putative ABPs. Subsequent transmission electron microscope (TEM) examination of purified putative antibacterial protein-containing solution showed the presence of encapsulin (~30 kD) and polysheath (~48 kD) like structures. Although only the ~30 kD protein was purified from Bl 1951, both structures were seen in this strain under TEM. Furthermore, while assessing the antibacterial activity of some fractions of Bl 1951 against Bl 1821L in size exclusion chromatography method, population of Bl 1821L persister cells was noted. Overall, this work added a wealth of knowledge for the purification of the HMW proteins (bacteriocins) of the Gram-positive bacteria including Bl.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0255.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: bony fish muscle, insect flight muscle, myosin filament structure, myosin crossbridge cycle, thick filament activation, interacting heads motif
Online: 23 July 2019 (10:57:56 CEST)
Unlike electron microscopy, which can achieve very high resolutions, but to date can only be used to study static structures, time-resolved X-ray diffraction from contracting muscles can, in principle, be used to follow the molecular movements involved in force generation on a millisecond timescale albeit at moderate resolution. However, previous X-ray diffraction studies of resting muscles have come up with structures for the head arrangements in resting myosin filaments that are different from the apparently ubiquitous interacting heads motif (IHM) found by single particle analysis of electron micrographs of isolated myosin filaments from a variety of muscle types. This head organization is supposed to represent the super-relaxed state of the myosin filaments where ATP usage is minimized. Here we have tested whether the interacting heads motif structures will satisfactorily explain the observed low-angle X-ray diffraction patterns from resting vertebrate (bony fish) and invertebrate (insect flight) muscles. We find that the interacting heads motif does not, in fact, explain what is observed. Previous X-ray models fit the observations much better. We conclude that the X-ray diffraction evidence has been well interpreted in the past and that there is more than one ordered myosin head state in resting muscle. There is, therefore, no reason to question some of the previous X-ray diffraction results on myosin filaments; time-resolved X-ray diffraction should be a reliable way to follow crossbridge action in active muscle and may be one of the few ways to follow molecular changes in myosin heads on a millisecond timescale as force is actually produced.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0194.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: insect viruses; arthropod virus; distant homology detection; remote homology detection; virulence factor; tospovirus; structure prediction; cypovirus; small protrusion domain
Online: 2 June 2023 (11:45:35 CEST)
Today, the most powerful approach to detect distant homologs of a protein is based on structure prediction and comparison. Yet this approach is still inapplicable to many viral proteins. Therefore, we developed a powerful sequence-based procedure to identify distant homologs of viral proteins. It relies on 3 main principles: 1) Traces of sequence similarity with a protein can persist beyond the significance cutoff of homology detection programs; 2) Candidate homologs can be identified among proteins with weak sequence similarity to the query, by using "contextual" information, e.g. taxonomy or type of host infected; 3) These candidate homologs can be validated using highly sensitive profile-profile comparison.As a test case, we applied our approach to a protein without known homologs, ORF4 of Lake Sinai virus (which infects bees). We discovered that ORF4 is composed of a domain that has homologs in proteins from >20 taxa of viruses infecting arthropods. We called it “Widespread, Intriguing, Versatile” (WIV) domain because it is found in proteins with a wide variety of domain organizations and functions. For example, WIV is encoded by the NSs protein of tospoviruses, a global threat to food security, which infect plants through arthropod vectors; by the protein encoded by RNA2 ORF1 of chronic bee paralysis virus, a widespread virus of bees; and by various proteins of cypoviruses, which infect the silkworm bombyx mori. WIV has a previously unknown structural fold, according to Alphafold predictions. In some viral species, WIV facilitates infection of arthropods, according to bibliographical evidence
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0127.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: plant-insect interaction; host shift; parallel evolution; detoxification; experimental evolution; population genomics; genome-wide association mapping; gene expression; Callosobruchus maculatus
Online: 8 March 2020 (01:52:10 CET)
Genes that affect adaptive traits have been identified, but our knowledge of the genetic basis of adaptation in a more general sense (across multiple traits) remains limited. We combined population-genomic analyses of evolve and resequence experiments, genome-wide association mapping of performance traits, and analyses of gene expression to fill this knowledge gap, and shed light on the genomics of adaptation to a marginal host (lentil) by the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. Using population-genomic approaches, we detected modest parallelism in allele frequency change across replicate lines during adaptation to lentil. Mapping populations derived from each lentil-adapted line revealed a polygenic basis for two host-specific performance traits (weight and development time), which had low to modest heritabilities. We found less evidence of parallelism in genotype-phenotype associations across these lines than in allele frequency changes during the experiments. Differential gene expression caused by differences in recent evolutionary history exceeded that caused by immediate rearing host. Together, the three genomic data sets suggest that genes affecting traits other than weight and development time are likely to be the main causes of parallel evolution, and that detoxification genes (especially cytochrome P450s and beta-glucosidase) could be especially important for colonization of lentil by C. maculatus.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0204.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: adaptive radiation; sympatric speciation; pollination by sexual swindle; plant insect coevolution; asymmetric coevolution; chemical ecology; Ophrys orchids; unifying species definition; pseudocopulation; key innovation
Online: 17 October 2019 (15:12:38 CEST)
Adaptive radiations occur mostly in response to environmental variation through the evolution of key eco-morphological innovations that allow emerging species to occupy new ecological niches. However, rapid phenotypic evolution and the evolution of key novelties are likely to also occur when a couple or few species are engaged into narrow ecological interactions. To demonstrate coevolution is a difficult task; only elusive evidences confirm that coevolution is a driver of speciation and diversiﬁcation. Here we propose that the adaptive radiation of the Mediterranean orchid genus Ophrys, which gave rise to ca. 350 species since the apparition of the genus is due to the particular co-evolutionary dynamics between these plants and their pollinators. We suggest that the pollination by sexual swindle used by Ophrys orchids is the main driver of this coevolution. Flowers of each Ophrys species mimic sexually receptive females of one particular insect species, mainly bees. Male bees are attracted by pseudo-pheromones emitted by Ophrys flowers that are similar to the sexual pheromones of their females. Males lured by the flower shape, color and hairiness attempt to copulate with the flower, which glues pollen on their bodies. Pollen is eventually transferred to the stigma of another flower of the same Ophrys species during similar copulation attempts. Three observations led us to propose the scenario of an asymmetric co-evolutionary relationship between Ophrys and their pollinators. Firstly, there is a strong intra-specific competition among Ophrys individuals for the attraction of their species-specific pollinators, which is due to the high learning and memorization abilities of bees that record the pheromone signatures of kin or of previously courted partner to avoid (further) copulation attempts. Mnemonic pollinators induce thus a strong selective pressure for variation in the pseudo-pheromones emitted by individual flowers, which will potentially generate shifts in pollinator species, and hence Ophrys speciation. These pollinator shifts are adaptive for new Ophrys species because they may benefit from a competitor-free space. Secondly, such shifts in pollinator species are due to the random crossing of peaks in the olfactory landscape of the pollinator guild that is syntopic to each particular Ophrys population. This selective process on individual, random variation in pseudo-pheromone bouquets is followed by directional selection on flower phenotypes that will reinforce the attraction of the new pollinator. Thirdly, pollinators use the pseudo-pheromones emitted by Ophrys to locate suitable habitats from a distance within complex landscapes. Pollinators stay fixed for a while in these habitats by the local diversity of pseudo-pheromones, which increases their probability of encounter with a receptive female and hence the reproduction probability of both sexes. Conversely, pollinators disperse out of small suitable habitats once they have memorized the local diversity of sexual pseudo-pheromone bouquet or if fecundated Ophrys flowers repel pollinators, which decreases the probability of geitonogamy (plant advantage) but limit pollinator mating with locally emergent insect females, thus limiting inbreeding and favoring gene flow (pollinator advantage). Finally, we propose several research avenues that emerged according to this scenario of adaptive radiation by assymetric coevolution between Ophrys species and their pollinators.